TJ Larson

There is little argument that becoming the President of the United States of America is no small achievement. While many have aspired to become the most powerful leader in the free world, few have succeeded. Within the two centuries of this country's existence, only 44 men have accomplished this feat so far; Barack Obama is one of them.

Obama's journey to the highest office in the land, has all the elements of a Hollywood movie plot. From his childhood to his election to the Senate, to defeating a vastly more experienced opponent and becoming president, Obama seemingly beat all odds. Add that to the fact that he is the first African-American to be elected to the office in U.S. history and you have everything to make a great screenplay. However, without all of the dramatic connotations, Obama's meteoric rise to fame takes on another form.

Let us take another look at the circumstances surrounding the election of Barack Obama.

At the time, America was in the throes of one of the worst economic meltdowns in history and George Bush 2.0 was on his second term in office. The country was embroiled in two wars and the current administration was being lambasted because of its decidedly secretive behavior. The Bush administration had already committed the nation to a perpetual state of conflict dubbed "The War on Terror" with no end in sight. Bush said that America would hunt down and take out those deemed by the U.S. as terrorists wherever they were--even if it meant invading another sovereign nation.

With most of the country still reeling from the 9/11 attacks, many supported this doctrine; not even realizing that Bush had effectively unofficially declared war on the entire world. Thus began the era of secret CIA interrogation camps, kidnapping, torture, and imprisonment of thousands of Muslims throughout the world... all in the name of national security. A fast-sinking economy along with record-high fuel prices, also did nothing to endear Bush or the GOP with the masses. The first decade of the new millennium was truly filled with many discontented souls. Then came election time... enter, Barack "Yes We Can" Obama.

Obama entered the fray squeaky-clean. Not since the the likes of "Honest Abe" Lincoln and George "I Cannot Tell a Lie" Washington, had there been a candidate with as much integrity. Even in this modern age of instant background checks, no one could tarnish Obama's shiny suit of armor. There were no stories of illicit business deals, marital infidelity, or any of the other things the muckrakers always seem to dig up on political figures. Then came the citizenship controversy. If nothing could impeach his perceived integrity, then why not impeach the man altogether?

And now let us move on to the election itself. Here we see Obama at first opposing none other than Hillary, the wife of, Bill "I did not inhale" Clinton for the Dem nomination. Since Mrs. Clinton has no doubt at some point influenced presidential policy due to being a president's wife for eight years, it seemed appropriate that she faced the upstart Obama for the shot at the Oval Office. Of course it also didn't hurt that Clinton had demonstrated her own political savvy by getting herself elected to the Senate. Unfortunately for Clinton and fortunately for Obama, there was a large demographic that apparently was not yet ready to see a woman in a bid for this nation's highest office.

Now let us move across the aisle to the opposition. Here we have Sen. John "A Leader You Can Believe In etc." McCain; experienced statesman, war hero, and self-proclaimed champion of freedom, justice, and the American way. OK well maybe that last part was Superman but anyway, in terms of sheer political experience, McCain was a vastly superior opponent. Then in a move that will likely leave pundits scratching their heads for the next century or so, McCain chooses Sarah "I Was Once A Beauty Queen" Palin as his running mate. Not saying that Palin was a bad person but she may have just had a bit too much drama in her life for the American people to choose as a VP and possible successor to the presidency. It also didn't help matters that Palin's teenaged daughter became pregnant out of wedlock, which was a not-so-conservative thing to do.

Although not trying to take anything away from Obama's solid achievements, we also begin to see there were other things at work which lead to his election. A terrible economy, along with war and other issues pushed voters in the seemingly only logical direction and so, Obama became president.

Nearly four years later, the public seems almost as disillusioned with Obama as they were with Bush 2.0, and in many ways rightfully so. Failed socio-economic policies along with broken promises have led to the disenchantment of many voters.

As with virtually every U.S. president there are those who hate Obama. Some may hate him for his failed policies, others because he is a Democrat. Sadly however, there are those who hate him simply because he is African-American; probably making him the most hated president in the nation's history. And let us not forget the other half of this "dynamic duo", Joe "Put ya'll all back in chains" Biden, whose off the cuff remarks have only served to infuriate large sections of the masses.

Now we fast-forward to the present election. Once again we have the unhappy masses and a damaged economy. One would think this would be the time for the GOP to seize the moment and what do they do? Why nominate Mitt "I Like Special Interests and Big Government" Romney of course. Once again they have engaged in the same self-sabotaging tactics that their party has become known for. Romney's selection of Paul "The Body" Ryan is almost as baffling as McCain's selection in the previous election.

Maybe the GOP secretly wants Obama to win again. Maybe it's part of a long-term strategy by the GOP to let this country sink so far into the ground, that we will never elect another Democrat again. Or, maybe they are as out of touch as the liberals say they are. Whatever the case may be, we may as well prepare for another four years of "Change we can believe in". After all, better the devil you know than the devil you don't.